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Book Review The Thermal Properties of Transition Metal Ammine Complexes. By W. W. Wendlandt and J. P. Smith

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which various, mutually exclusive answers are offered; if the
pupil chooses the correct answer he is at once led further
through the program as fast as his knowledge and intelligence
allow; if he chooses the wrong answer he is led to an exposition especially designed to correct the error; and individual
correction is thus achieved.
The first volume of “Programmed Learning: Chemistry”
deals almost exclusively with the chemistry of materials. The
contents are arranged according to the well tested principle
of “from easy to difficult”. An introductory program
explains changes of phase as physical processes and changes
of material as chemical processes; the differences between
mixtures and chemical compounds are set out clearly. Then
follow one chapter each on “Air”, “Water”, and “Hydrogen”: they include descriptions of experiments that are already familiar to the laboratory assistants for whose use this
book is primarily intended.
Among the programs dealing with materials are scattered six
further program son “Theoretical Principles” such as the
concept of an atom, valency, Avogadro’s hypothesis, and
quantitative analysis; the advantages of this procedure are
obvious. Two programs o n organic chemistry, on a purely
practical basis, complete the volume.
The range of each program is restricted so that in general it
can be worked through at onesitting without undue strain on
the pupil.
Programs for chemistry are a rarity; indeed the 1968
bibliography, compiled by J . Lorenz, of programmed learning in German does not contain a single one. So the authors
may be forgiven for occasionally faltering in their programming technique and for steps that, in the reviewer’s opinion,
are not of much use. Isolated steps such as the definition of a
catalyst, and steps with too many gaps in the question o r
with implausible or trivial alternative answers at branch
points should be avoided as far as possible.
The arrangement as a “scrambled textbook” explains the
astonishingly low price but it also leads to diversions during
the continuous cross-referencing; in a new edition it would
be desirable to use a printing technique that leads to sharper
separation of the individual programs since it is only too easy
to turn to the wrong program during the forward- and backreferring.
In spite of these criticisms this book of programmed learning
can be recommended for all those who want to build up a
basic knowledge of chemistry quickly and effectively.
There is a companion volume to the programs, designed for
the instructor, that explains in detail the connections between the various programs, isolating the main route and all
the branches.
Siegfried Noding [NB 871 IE]
The Thermal Properties of Transition Metal Ammine Cornplexes. By W. W. Wendlandt and J. P. Smith. Elsevier
Publishing Company, Amsterdam-London-New York
1967, 1st Edit., x + 235pp., numerous figures, bound,
Dfl. 47.50.
This book deals with the results of the thermal decomposition
of ammine complexes of the transition metals and also of
gallium, indium, and thallium. It is principally concerned
with kinetic methods.
First of all, the problem of thermodynamic stability is explained with some specific examples. This is followed by a
comprehensive survey of kinetic breakdown techniques such
as thermogravimetry, differential thermal analysis, mass
spectrometry, thermomagnetic methods, and high-temperature reflectance spectroscopy, and of their applications.
In a special section a systematic treatment is given of the
thermal properties of the individual ammine complexes,
taking full account of recent literature. Complexes with
organic amines, and also aquo- and acido-ammine complexes are considered.
Only the results of the kinetic methods are given in detail,
these methods having the advantage of being less timeAngew. Chem. internal. Edit.
1 Vol. 9
(1970)
No. 5
consuming than the static methods (isothermal or isobaric
tensiometric decomposition). They relate principally to
differences in the rates of decomposition of the phases under
consideration. This involves crystal formation, particle size,
nucleation, growth, and diffusion processes. A very critical
evaluation of the degradation curves is thus required, particularly where the number and the thermodynamic stability of
the intermediates are concerned. The authors emphasize that
one should never be satisfied with a single method. An X-ray
study of the solids is absolutely indispensable, and yet it is
performed all too rarely.
The value of this book lies predominantly in the following
points: 1. All available kinetic methods and their uses are
dealt with. 2. Comprehensive factual material is provided.
3. The book reveals the existing gaps in our knowledge which
require further experimental treatment. We can also see that
the theoretical treatment of the stability problem is still very
much in arrears. For example, it is still not generally possible
to say on theoretical grounds where the stability of ammine
complexes will increase in the order chloride, bromide,
iodine, and in which cases it will decrease. There are also still
a number of gaps in the X-ray determination of the crystal
structures of ammine complexes. Thus in many cases the
proposed structures arestill uncertain, and this is also true for
the structural formulas given on pp. 170 and 772 for the adducts of o- and p-phenylenediamine with Cd salts. From the
stereochemical viewpoint, these formulas are unsatisfactory.
The chemist working in the field of coordination chemistry
will find this very clearly written book to be stimulating
reading; its publication is therefore greatly welcomed.
Otto Schmitz-DuMont
[NB 866 IE]
Comprehensive Chemical Kinetics. Edited by C. H. Bamford
and C . F. H . Tipper. Vol. 1: The Practice of Kinetics. Elsevier Publishing Company, .Amsterdam-London-New York
1969. 1st Edit., 450 pp., numerous figures, Dfl. 95
This is the first in a planned series of 25 volumes. I t should
be said a t the outset that the authors have succeeded in collating and presenting in a thoroughly accessible form the
widely scattered literature o n the subject. This achievement
is particularly welcome in the light of the explosive development in experimental techniques in certain branches of
kinetics.
The chapters devoted to the experimental methods used in
the study of slow ( L . Butt), fast ( D . N. Hague), and heterogeneous (D. M. Shooter) reactions, and the one on the detection of intermediates ( R . P. Wayne), are well equipped
with useful diagrams and descriptions of the apparatus
used, including, where ap.>licable, electronic instrumentation. The accent is placed on thermal, photochemical, and
radiochemical systems, while biochemical and electrochemical systems have obviously been deliberately neglected.
Naturally, all classical and modern chemical and physical
methods of studying chemical reactions are also discussed,
though the treatment accorded to some of the modern
methods is somewhat curtailed. The editors are to be complimented o n the fact that overlapping between individual
chapters has been reduced to a minimum. On the other hand,
they have clearly failed to persuade the authors of the first
three chapters to maintain uniformity of arrangement.
The concluding chapter o n the treatment of experimental
data (D. Margerison) is in particular of inestimable value to
all those working in kinetics. It is illustrated with a number
of examples and tables and constitutes a n unsurpassed aid t o
the analysis of experimental results, even for the most complex systems.
This volume will provide invaluable help in planning, carrying
out, and analyzing kinetic experiments, both to those who
are occasionally concerned with kinetics and to those constantly dealing with this field.
Oskar Friedrich Olaj [NB 863 IE]
387
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